Amos: Studies in …
The first fact we learn about Amos is that he was “among the herdsmen of Tekoa.” We wondered just where that place is located. In seeking valid information about Amos’ birthplace, we consulted a web site at this URL:
Here is the entire entry ...
“Tequ` in Judah. Tekoa in Hebrew probably means "trumpet clang". A town in Judah, about 6 miles S of Bethlehem and on the range of hills that rise near Hebron and stretch toward the Dead Sea. By the "wilderness of Tekoa" (2 Chron 20:20; 1 Macc. 9:33) was the region E. of the town.
“Tekoa is first mentioned in the biblical account (2 Sam 14:2,4,9) of Joab's employing a "wise woman" residing there to reconcile with David and Absalom. Here also Ira the son of Ikkesh, one of David's thirty "mighty men," was born, and therefore was called "the Tekoite" (23:26). Tekoa was one of the places fortified by Rehoboam at the beginning of his reign to prevent an invasion from the South (2 Chron 11:6). People from Tekoa took part in building the walls of Jerusalem after the captivity (Neh 3:5,27). Jeremiah preached (Jer 6:1), "Now blow a trumpet in Tekoa, and raise a signal over Beth-haccerem," both signals warning of the enemy's approach. Tekoa was also the birthplace of Amos (Amos 1:1), and it was here when he was called to be a prophet of God.
“Tekoa is now called Tequ` and is a ruined site, showing many Hebrew traces.
“2 Sam. 14:2 ff; 1 Chr. 2:24; Amos 1:1; Jer. 6:1; 2 Chr. 20:20; 1 Macc. 9:33.”
Those notes add a body of information about Tekoa, most of which this researcher was not aware until now; interesting!
As Amos is designated as being “among the herdsmen (shepherds) 0f Tekoa,” we must surmise that the “wilderness” east of the town was not entirely devoid of vegetation; it was sufficient to sustain at least small herds of animals with pasture.
Today that area is a dry, sterile, desolate waste-howling wilderness consisting of rolling hills covered with scattered stones, guttered by dry streambeds, and sparsely covered with scrubby vegetation insufficient for grazing. It is only occupied by scattered Bedouin encampments which traditionally are moved frequently from place to place.
The time of Amos’ work is pinpointed precisely in the description given in verse one. He prophesied during Uzziah’s and Jeroboam’s kingships beginning two years before the renowned earthquake during the reign of Uzziah. His short career appears to have been around BC754 to BC752.
Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam (II) the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
The research above indicates Amos’ name probably means, “a trumpet’s clang.” The “roar from Zion” in this verse may indicate the sound of the Shofars of battle issuing from Jerusalem when the LORD called forth their conquerors in that day ... but also when He again has ascendancy there (refer to the last five verses of the book).
Amo 1:2 And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.
The next expression which we encounter is “for three transgressions of Damascus, and for four.” It is an Hebrew idiom meaning many or several instances of an act – habitual repetition.
The idea is that Damascus has, along with several of its cohort, gone against the people of the LORD in various matters (although such punishment was deserved by Israel) and therefore shall be punished for those acts of defiance.
The particular act here indicated is that Benhadad had “threshed Gilead (Israel) with threshing instruments of iron.” Isaiah 7: 18 relates to this oppression/aggression by Rezin, king of Damascus. II Kings 10: 32 and 13: 3 ... “Gilead threshed with iron.” Here is a vivid description of just "how" the LORD made "the glory of Jacob thin" in that day, as in Isaiah 17:4. The other nations round about were treated the same way by Hazael, king of Assyria...
Amo 1:3 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:
Gilead is put for all Israel which long had suffered cross-border raids upon its towns and villages by their northern neighbors ... the precursor to their being overcome by Assyria c. 700BC.
The next verse relates to the punishment that Damascus should receive for their aggression.
Amo 1:4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad.
Amo 1:5 I will break also the bar (the barriers – walls and gates) of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD.
ESword note: “the house of Eden:” or, Beth-Eden. Probably the village of Eden, in Mount Lebanon, marks the site of this place. It is delightfully situated by the side of a richly cultivated valley, and contains about 400 or 500 families, and is, according to modern authorities, about 20 miles southeast of Tripoli, and five miles from the cedars.
Now the same idiom is leveled against Gaza of the Philistines ...
Amo 1:6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:
The prophecy of Obadiah 1: 11 illustrates the gist of this charge.
Notice particularly that these severe charges are next leveled against Gaza (verse 6); Tyre (verse 9); Edom (verse 11); Ammon (verse 13); Moab (2: 1) ... all nations “round about” Israel and Judah.
But Israel and Judah are being judged for their particular sins too, as in Amos 2: 4 and 2: 6.
So his next words concern the Philistines ... their reward for evil is also approaching from the north!
Amo 1:7 But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:
The prophet indicates three cities of the Philistines for special destruction.
It is significant that after these events took place, the Philistines as a people are not significantly heard from again.
The prophecy has overtones for the end time. But there is a sinister element: their “captivity” has returned in these end times and is identified in the savage members of Hamas which inhabit those shores today. See especially Zephaniah 2: 4, 5, which indicates their present day destruction forever.
Amo 1:8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant (those who have “returned” are Hamas and the PLO) of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
Now the prophet turns to Lebanon – or Tyrus (Tyre) in the north ... it is the present day home of Hezbollah, the “party of Islam’s god,” who are devout enemies of God and His people of Israel today.
It is quite evident that “the worm does not turn” during all the intervening years; their hatred for Israel persists ... and even deepens. Their bloodthirsty mien heightens to a frenzy until, at the last day, they are completely destroyed by the Christ and the His Saints and Israel His people, physically and spiritually, as Allah and his crowd are done away forever! Obadiah 1: 18, q.v.
Amo 1:9 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity (of Israelites) to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:
At the time Tyre was a thriving city-state which fielded a significant army and navy, including an extensive merchant marine force. Its aggression against God’s people is here noted...
Amo 1:10 But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof.
That ‘fire’ was first exerted by Nebuchadnezzar, followed by the indomitable Alexander the Great, who destroyed the island-haven of the escaped mainland Tyrians who had fled from the mainland under Nebuchadnezzar’s aggression some years before.
Amo 1:11 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:
Edom’s end-time punishment is detailed quite clearly in the small book of Obadiah, where five particular enclaves of Edomites (people of today corresponding to ancient Edom) live ... verses 19, 20 ... and the end point is reached when “Saviors (the Saints of Christ’s kingdom) shall come upon Mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s” in verse 21!
It is obvious that, at that time, the LORD is physically present at that place.
Amo 1:12 But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.
Both are places in Edom.
Amo 1:13 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon (now Jordan), and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:
Amo 1:14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah (the capital of Jordan today is Amman, and was known in olden time as Rabbah Ammon), and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:
Amo 1:15 And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the LORD.
The population of Jordan today is estimated to be about 70% “Palestinian” in makeup – all rabid enemies of God’s people.
Central Jordan (Moab) should not escape. It was also a perpetual enemy of Israel and of Judah in old time; it remains so today, even though its government based in Amman, has signed a peace treaty with Israel for the time being. At that earlier time, the people of Moab cast animus at God’s people at every turn of events.
Amo 2:1 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:
II Kings 3: 27 is the record of this heinous act of the King of Moab upon his own son in frustration for losing a war with Israel.
A footnote in ESword relates:
“offered him: In cases of great extremity, it was customary in various heathen nations, to offer human sacrifices, and even their own children. This was frequent among the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Scythians, Gauls, Africans, and others; and was the natural fruit of a religious system, which had for the objects of its worship cruel and merciless divinities. The king of Moab, in this case, sacrificed his son to obtain the favour of Chemosh his god, who, being a devil, delighted in blood and murder, and the destruction of mankind. The dearer anything was to them, the more acceptable those idolaters thought the sacrifice, and therefore burnt their children in the fire to their honour.”
Amo 2:2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:
Amo 2:3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the LORD.
Judah in the South
Amo 2:4 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:
Amo 2:5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.
Israel in the North
Amo 2:6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;
Amo 2:7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:
Amo 2:8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
Even in spite of these gross inequities toward their brethren and their God, He still has blessed them in many ways ...
Amo 2:9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.
Amo 2:10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.
Amo 2:11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the LORD.
But they had grossly violated His principles and edicts for them ...
Amo 2:12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.
Amo 2:13 Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.
This language means that he is crushed down and oppressed by their standard responses to His goodness to them – their unappreciative demeanor, the repugnance of all their actions against their Father.
The result is to be their complete impotence to defend themselves and survive as a nation among their fierce enemies.
Amo 2:14 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:
Amo 2:15 Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.
Amo 2:16 And he that is (usually) courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD.
Their destiny is for their nation to be decimated; they shall not be able to defend themselves against the LORD’s army, nor withstand the unceasing sieges against them and their lands. No effective battle-partners will be found by them. <HEL>
Amo 3:1 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
Amo 3:2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
Amo 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
The following examples show the collusion of parties which brings destruction upon them. They have clearly brought upon themselves all the evil that is coming to them; their Father is not responsible for their punishment. The effect of their punishment is from cause – their self-generated “cause” in each detailed case ... the subject of the next series of condemnatory phrases:
Amo 3:4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?
Amo 3:5 Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?
Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
And now the prophet is instructed to reveal another case of cause and effect: this time it is a team of righteous acts which should have resulted in an effective warning to His people that their punishment is coming soon; but they disregarded his revelations to them.
Amo 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret (his secret counsel – Bullinger) unto his servants the prophets.
This statement by YHVH shows His great admiration for His prophets and the vast importance which He places upon His revelations to them as instruments of communication with His people of every age.
It alone proves the response that we of today must give to the prophets’ words, for they are the binding and informing forces of His will with ours – of our future with His future! To misunderstand His prophets is tantamount to misunderstanding His intentions for the Elect! For this reason, we seriously wonder whether some contemporary believers are underestimating the critical, supreme importance of a CORRECT understanding of end time prophecies. It is a matter of grave concern to us.
Amo 3:8 The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
These two very different “causes” produce exactly the same “effects,” which result in every subject’s actions to comply!
Amo 3:9 Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.
Amo 3:10 For they know not to do right (this word is nakah, and means “straightforward;” it is a rare word. In Proverbs 8:9, it means easy to understand (“plain”)). In Isaiah 26: 10 (“uprightness”) it is YHVH’s oracle) saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.
Amo 3:11 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.
Amo 3:12 Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.
In these graphic depictions, the survivability of Israel of that day is illustrated; it’s not a very promising near-term picture for them!
Amo 3:13 Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,
Amo 3:14 That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.
Amo 3:15 And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the LORD.
Israel’s immoderate prosperity, enjoyed along with its immoral practices, shall be taken entirely away, and they shall see them no more!
It is remarkable to us that virtually the remainder of Amos’ message concerns Israel and Judah – their transgressions and inequities toward Him and among themselves ... and all Amos’ remaining message concerns His People!
We realize by these signs that it is His People with whom He is concerned as to final status. But it is not until the reader reaches the last five verses of this scroll that He reads the gracious words of mercy and forgiveness recorded there for our instruction in the end time!
Amo 4:1 Hear this word, ye kine (cattle) of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.
Amo 4:2 The Lord GOD hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.
This is an unmistakable reference to a common practice of the Assyrian armies: their captives were hooked in their jaws with a large fish hook, which in turn was attached by a rope to a heavy hawser. Thus all prisoners were bound to the hawser and led wherever the Assyrians wished. Assyrian monuments depict in stone carvings this precise practice!
Amo 4:3 And ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the LORD.
Amo 4:4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:
Readers will be aware that, at those two designated places were placed the golden calves of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who led Israel astray from God.
Amo 4:5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
Amo 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth (hunger and starvation) in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
Amo 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.
Amo 4:8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
Amo 4:9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
Amo 4:10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
Amo 4:11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
Amo 4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.
Amo 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought (directly ... through His prophets), that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.
In these poignant passages is clearly seen the pathetic oversight of His People by the God of Israel – all at no profit to them; for they ignored His actions toward them, probably attributing them to “time and chance.” They were not corrected nor instructed by His oversight nor His punishments.
The condemnations continue, requiring little commentary for understanding ...
Amo 5:1 Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.
Amo 5:2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise (the prophet’s meaning is that she shall no more rise IN THIS SAME CONDITION, yet her future restoration on a spiritual plane is surely a matter of certainty): she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.
Amo 5:3 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.
Amo 5:4 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:
Amo 5:5 But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
Amo 5:6 Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.
Righteous actions could have averted the disaster they were facing, but they would not follow God!
Amo 5:7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood (hemlock, or poisonous judgment), and leave off righteousness in the earth,
Amo 5:8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars (kymah, the Pleiades) and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning (offers hope where there is none), and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:
Amo 5:9 That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.
Amo 5:10 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
Amo 5:11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.
Amo 5:12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.
In these powerful words, the LORD is calling to the attention of His people the basic tenets of the Tablets of Stone – the Ten Commandments delivered to Moses – which speak abundantly of their treatment regime for one another, and of the details of the Law given later by inspiration to Moses and recorded in Leviticus.
Amo 5:13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence (for fear of retribution by the authorities) in that time; for it is an evil time.
Amo 5:14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
Amo 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
To “establish” something “in the gate,” means to make it a matter of public policy – of law, and of common practice.
Amo 5:16 Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.
Amo 5:17 And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD.
Amo 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD (the day of his judgment) is darkness, and not light.
Amo 5:19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
Amo 5:20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
Amo 5:21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
Amo 5:22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
The reason for this reaction by YHVH is that His People did not offer in the spirit of repentance; their service and sacrifices were a matter of routine – unfeeling and unrepentant rituals.
Amo 5:23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
Amo 5:24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
Amo 5:25 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
Amo 5:26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch (the prominent Ammonite deity) and Chiun (Hebrew, kiyun, an image – a euphemism for a heathen deity such as Priapus or Baal-Peor: ESword footnote) your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
Amo 5:27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.
Amo 6:1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!
Amo 6:2 Pass ye unto Calneh (Calno, a city in the Assyrian empire), and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath (a city of Syria) the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?
Amo 6:3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;
Amo 6:4 That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;
Amo 6:5 That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;
Amo 6:6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
Amo 6:7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.
Amo 6:8 The Lord GOD hath sworn by himself, saith the LORD the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.
Amo 6:9 And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die.
Amo 6:10 And a man's uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with thee? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of the LORD.
Amo 6:11 For, behold, the LORD commandeth, and he will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts.
Amo 6:12 Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock:
Amo 6:13 Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength?
Amo 6:14 But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation (Assyria), O house of Israel, saith the LORD the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath (Chemath, in Syria) unto the river of the wilderness.
Amo 7:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings.
Amo 7:2 And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
Amo 7:3 The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, saith the LORD.
Amo 7:4 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.
Amo 7:5 Then said I, O Lord GOD, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
Amo 7:6 The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord GOD.
Amo 7:7 Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.
Amo 7:8 And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them (forbear them, or be patient with them) any more:
These words indicate an end of YHVH’s patience with His people. He will now enforce obedience at the expense of their continued existence. The imminent invasion from the north is now nearer than ever.
Amo 7:9 And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.
Amo 7:10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.
This retort seems to be the first indication that Amos is now under scrutiny by the priests. His words are gaining significance as a force of resistance to their errant ways. His message now seems to surface in their midst as a message of great clarity, and adversity. They resist believing the words of Amos, as they did all other true prophets!
Amo 7:11 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land. The people and the king could not bear the true revelations of the LORD for them; they did not believe their impending punishments would come.
Amo 7:12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:
Amo 7:13 But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court.
Amazingly, the priests seem to be open to allowing Amos to flee to the south and to cease prophesying in Israel. But Amos is not amenable to this, pleading that he is following the direction of God, not men and that he did not elect to perform his tasks. He was appointed by YHVH and not men, being a simple shepherd and harvester of sycamore fruits.
Amo 7:14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
Amo 7:15 And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.
These simple and direct words from YVHH were all that were needed for Amos’ righteous response. He is thus shown a man of immense faith and spiritual strength. Amos’ words are a direct rebuttal to Amaziah.
Amo 7:16 Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac.
Amo 7:17 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.
Betrayal of the LORD’s trust by Amaziah as a priest, even a priest of the transgression, was a serious affair ... and would have dire consequences.
Amo 8:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.
Amo 8:2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them (forbear their atrocities and sins) any more.
The implication of this statement – this comparison to summer fruit – seems to be that, like summer fruits, spoilage will occur much sooner than later. Israel’s present situation will not “keep” (be maintained) much longer; their demise is imminent.
But if our time estimate of Amos’ prophetic activity is accurate, there would still be about 50 years before Assyria came violently to carry out the LORD’s decision. He is indeed longsuffering!
Amo 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.
Amo 8:4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,
Amo 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
Israel’s comportment was at this time not in sympathy with their imposed spiritual ritual; we should say “their heart was not in it.” Their desire was to cease the “religious” ritual and get back to the business of commerce and corruption!
Amo 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?
Amo 8:7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.
Amo 8:8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. The “flood of Egypt” refers to the annual overflowing of the River Nile, which destroyed much of the country as it swept through the land.
Amo 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:
Amo 8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.
Although the people may not have recognized these drastic measures as God’s judgment, their observance of the dire conditions would be with mourning and sackcloth.
Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
Amo 8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
Amo 8:14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.
These multiple censures would ensure their demise, and the thinning of Jacob as referenced in Isaiah 17:4, q.v.
These deeply-expressed condemnations were so numerous and pervasive as to need little extraneous commentary; they are plainly to be understood by the reader ... and should have been by the people of Israel, but were not.
Amo 9:1 I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.
Amo 9:2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down: (These words indicate there would be no escape for any man or woman from the coming oppression by any means.)
Amo 9:3 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:
Amo 9:4 And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.
Amo 9:5 And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.
Amo 9:6 It is he (the LORD of Hosts) that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.
Amo 9:7 Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor (Caphtor was apparently the original seat of the Philistines – a wreath-shaped island), and the Syrians from Kir?
Amo 9:8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.
The mercy of YHVH is here seen clearly; even in light of the House of Israel’s multiple transgressions, He will not make a full end of the People. But He will “sift” it thoroughly, removing all the contaminants and unwanted ones in the process as He scatters them among the nations of the earth. The people became so thoroughly scattered as to become known through the ages as “the lost ten tribes.”
Amo 9:9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
Amo 9:10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.
And now the reader beholds a remarkable transition in the attitude of YHVH toward His People ... even after eight full chapters of excoriation of them for their sins and unfaithfulness, He now pronounces upon them the eternal blessings which He intends, finally, for them.
But it shall be ONLY in the latter days of their history. The above litany of terrible retributions should continue for century after century upon His People before their time of redemption and salvation should come ... in the end time – brought about by the end of their appointed “times” of suffering and persecution – termed “the times of the Gentiles” by the LORD Jesus Himself (cf., Luke 21: 24).
In these five verses, the student beholds a miraculous and complete turnaround of the attitude of YVHV toward His People, and His merciful setting aside of their sins and transgressions of the ages.
The Ten Tribes have now been dispersed for nearly 3,000 years into all nations of the earth. And the Two Tribes for almost 2,000 years into all nations as well.
But at this end of time, their fortunes abruptly shall be reversed, and His mercy and forgiveness shall be extended toward them.
These details are some of the most crucially concentrated and encapsulated words of encouragement of His People recorded in all scripture.
Believers of today – our own time specifically – will do well to take to heart and thoroughly understand these clear words of encouragement to Israel His People, deeply and thankfully believing that we are now living in the times of their fulfillment!
Amo 9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
It is important to realize that the wording of these final statements of the prophet Amos is a progressive picture of the redemption of Israel in the end time ... and that at this particular day in time we are experiencing that ongoing process of redemption.
It has not reached its end by any means – a realization which comes with the prophet’s next words: Israel does not yet “possess” the territory of Edom in full, but only in part: that part is the portion lying within Israel as today laid out.
But their conquest of the remainder lies in the very near future in our studied opinion ... that is, their conquest of those areas described in detail in Obadiah – Jordan, Lebanon, the “West Bank,” Judea and Samaria, the Negev and the Sinai.
Amo 9:12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom (the LXX has “man” instead of “Edom,” and indicates an erroneous pointing of the vowel reflected in the text of the KJV), and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.
A fellow Bible student has done extensive research of this error of translation by the KJV translators and shown that it should read as the LXX has it. We insert here a short commentary by Wayne Tanner in which he enlightens readers on this important verse and why it is crucial to our understanding of how “Edom” and others surrounding the Land are to be treated by our LORD.
Here is his article in altered font for clarity ...
Correcting a Bad Translation of Amos 8: 12
From time to time I have received from Believers in Christ a request to comment on the prophecy in Amos 9:12 which speaks of the rebuilding of the tabernacle of David, as the kingdom begins after the return of Jesus (verse 11). The consternation begins as one notices that in verse 12 there is a statement that the Edomites of the family of Esau are to seek after the Lord subsequent to the beginning of the kingdom when the tabernacle of David is to be built. (Zechariah 6: 12-13)
It is well known by informed brethren that the Bible reveals that at the time when the tabernacle of David is to be raised up again, there will not be any of Esau's descendants left alive upon the earth (Obadiah 1:18; Ezekiel 25: 12-14; Joel 3: 19).
Also, from Psalm 83: 1-8 we learn in verse 6 that Edom is involved in the assault against Israel prior to the establishment of the kingdom. Verse 9 orders God's forces to do to those nations (including Edom) as the Israelites had done unto the Midianites in ancient times.
By perusing Numbers 31: 7-12, we learn what the ancient Israelites had done unto the Midianites. Notice that verse seven declares that Israel slew every single male of the Midianites. That is exactly what God tells Israel, in Psalms 83: 9, to do to all those nations including Edom; and Obadiah 1:18 testifies that there truly will not be any Edomites remaining.
Therefore, the remnant of Edom will not be seeking after the Lord in the newly established kingdom of God.
What, then, is the problem with Amos 9: 12? Does the prophet Amos not tell the truth? We answer that the prophet Amos is not the problem. The problem is with the Bible translators who translated the Bible into English.
Near the year 285 B.C. the ruler of Egypt by the name of Ptolemy wanted to have the Hebrew Scriptures in his extensive library in the Greek language which by that time had become the language of the Empire. Israel sent him 70 Hebrew/Greek translators to accomplish the work which, when finished, was entitled The Septuagint. The name reflects the fact that the work was accomplished by 70 translators.
As those Israelite translators dealt with Amos 9: 11-12 they recognized that the term "adam" was in the text, a term that later translators mistook for "edom." The term "adam" is translated "man" and "men" many times in the Scriptures.
The correct reading occurs in the Septuagint at Amos 9: 12 where the text reads: "That the remnant of men, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, may earnestly seek me, saith the Lord who doeth all these things."
Later translators, as they dealt with this text, mistook the word "adam" for "Edom" and the text was corrupted and made to read is such a way that the plan and purpose of God were concealed to readers of the passage. The Commentary of Adam Clarke at that passage calls attention to the mistaken translation and shows why the passage should agree with the quotation of James who was the leader of the Ecclesia in Jerusalem. James was also the flesh and blood brother of Jesus.
By inspiration, James quoted Amos 9: 12 at the council at Jerusalem in Acts 15: 17. Notice his quotation which reads exactly as it appears in the Septuagint version of Amos 9: 12: "That the residue of men might seek after the Lord and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”
Therefore, it is more than obvious that God moved James to say exactly what He had moved Amos to write; and we must do the same because of that fact.
Now, we have recognized complete harmony between the Old Testament and the New Testament and the word of God is vindicated. - Wayne R. Tanner
The context of the description here seems to indicate the reason why the translators chose “Edom” rather than “Adam, or "men” because the overall implication is that it is the nations around Israel that seem primarily indicated.
But then the prediction takes on a more concentrated character, treating of the details of the development of the land and its agriculture, which had been neglected for at least two millennia.
The words are apropos to today only because the Land is now bringing forth its fruits in greater abundance than at any time since the land could be described as “a land of milk and honey.”
Today Israel is a net exporter of every kind of produce, including flowers, and its products are being sold throughout Europe, for example, on a daily basis.
Jaffa oranges are the standard by which oranges are judged by the entire world.
Israel’s flowers are at the market each morning of every week at the premier floral market of the world at Amsterdam – transported there each weekday in giant aircraft, by El Al.
A visitor to Israel in August or September of any year sees the abundant evidence of the truth of these predictions! And indications here are that the abundance of produce shall yet increase even more in future years!
This return of productivity of its fields and ranches parallels the return of His People to their beloved Land, and their devoted care of and love for it in these latter days.
Amo 9:13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
Amo 9:14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; (can anyone deny that this process is ongoing before our eyes at this time?) and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
Amo 9:15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.
This blessed assurance of Israel’s promised longevity in the Land – its everlasting inheritance of it without further disturbance or disruption – comes to His People as millions of them have made their way to its beloved hills and valleys, to its seashores and barren hills.
Israel is the only country on earth to have entered the 21st century with an overabundance of forests, exceeding its presence of trees of its 20th-century revival. The Israeli Holocaust Memorial Forest alone contains six million trees which were not there in 1948 when the nation was founded!
As always, the nearly endless pronouncements of His People’s unrighteousness ends with their Father’s leaping ahead of their centuries to a time of blessing and ultimate salvation for His People. “Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.” Romans 11:1
In our opinion, these concluding blessings of the Prophet Amos are the clearest pronouncement of our Father’s blessings which He intended to bestow upon His people at the time of their second recovery (Isaiah 11: 11). It gives the lie to anyone who claims that Israel is once more to be overrun by their enemies and scattered into the nations – or even just into Egypt – in this end time. Israel is coming home – is returning to Me – as the Almighty commanded that they should do, prior to His “returning to them,” which He shall do when the LORD Jesus Christ hears their earnest and heartfelt confession, that “Blessed is He Who cometh in the name of the LORD,” as he predicts they will in Luke 13: 35. That utterance indicates their unqualified acceptance of His very Person, Whom they shall have observed in the fierce battle with their enemies of the end time, and His enormous, overwhelming victory over their enemies (cf., Luke 1: 71, 74) as predicted by Zacharias, the father of John Immerser.
At the time of this editing of the words of Amos, that is the next event which we expect to occur in the vast number of end-time prophecies, for no other events seem to take priority over this great era of the Second Advent!
<HEL P11> ~8500 w0rds. November 25, 2017; edited June 2018.